Tabish Khair's New Novel is a Satire on Islamist Terror

Zafri Mudasser Nofil/New Delhi
Tabish Khair's New Novel is a Satire on Islamist Terror
Author-educator Tabish Khair combines elements like crime, immigrants, campus and young adult romance to come out with a gripping satire on Islamist terror and the way the West reacts to it.

According to the Bihar-born writer, now a professor at Aarhus University in Denmark, his new novel How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position deals with relationships in the light of fear of Islamist terror.

"It is a love story set in Denmark featuring Indian and Pakistani youths," The Thing About Thugs writer told PTI about his new book, published by HarperCollins and due for release in April.

Funny and sad, satirical and humane, How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position tells interlinked stories of three unforgettable men - the flamboyant Ravi, the fundamentalist Karim and the unnamed and pragmatic Pakistani narrator - whose trajectories cross in Aarhus, and are complicated by the Prophet Mohammad cartoon controversy.

As the unnamed narrator copes with his divorce and Ravi, despite his exterior of skeptical flamboyance falls deeply in love with a beautiful woman who is incapable of responding in kind, Karim - their landlord - goes on with his job as a cab- driver and his regular Friday Quran discussion sessions.

Even as Ravi's great love wilts in the half-light of the autumn sun in Denmark, a conspiracy appears to have been hatched in front of his secular eyes: a fundamentalist attacks one of the cartoonists who had drawn the controversial caricatures of the prophet. Very soon, all three men are embroiled in doubt, suspicion and danger.

Besides the novel, Khair has also finished a play titled The One Per Cent Agency. Directed by noted playwright Sohaila Kapur, the play is about wedding tourism in India.

His novel The Thing About Thugs was shortlisted for the 2012 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, the Man Asian Literary Prize of 2011 and the 2010 Hindu Best Fiction Prize. He won the All India Poetry Prize for Where Parallel Lines Meet (2000).
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